Archive for October, 2011

Quickly Staple Header Cards and Clamshell Packaging

Monday, October 31st, 2011

Staplex S-620N Double Header Electric StaplerAre you trying to staple blister packaging to cards, header cards to plastic bags or are you trying to seal clamshell packaging shut? One product our customers finding extremely useful is our line of electric staplers from Staplex. These American-made staplers feature some of the best quality / track records around and can be customized in the factory to meet your needs.

We recently had a customer come to us looking for a way to seal clamshell packaging shut. They needed to place a few staples in strategic locations to keep the packaging shut for shipping and retail purposes. After asking a few questions, and working with Staplex, we were able to find the right electric stapler for them.

The customer’s clamshell packaging comprised of 0.0235″ and 0.0135″ plastic layers. These two layers, once folded and around the product, needed to be stapled shut. This involved placing two staples on each side of the clamshell, requiring a stapler with dual stapling heads. Because such thick plastic was being used, they needed something with a little extra oomph. They ended up buying the Staplex S-620NRDFS with RLD thick wire long length staples. The thick wire staples ended up being able to easily penetrate the plastic and clinch shut.

This is one of the above mentioned clamshell packages that were stapled shut using the S-620N.

Clampshell Packaging Staplex Electric Stapler

The Staplex S-620N double header stapler (found here), available in over 8 different variations, uses 2 simultaneous stapling heads that act in unison. Variations include models with foot switches, machines designed for header cards, thick wire variations and more.

We offer a wide range of Staplex electric staplers (found here) that can be used for a wide variety of stapling purposes. This includes stapling plastic, corrugated cardboard, chipboard, packaging cards, header cards and much more.  Because these staplers are made in the USA, the build quality is excellent and parts / servicing is readily available.

We have decades of experience in electric staplers and would be more than happy to help you find an industrial / commercial electric stapler for your manufacturing needs. Please feel free to call one of our stapling experts at 1-800-658-8788. They will be able to answer your questions, provide you with custom quotes and put you on the right path towards reliable packaging equipment.

How to Dramatically Increase Office Productivity with a Paper Folding Machine

Thursday, October 27th, 2011

Intelli-Fold DE-172AF Paper Folding MachineBe sure to join David Stuart, ABC Office Marketing Supervisor this Friday, Oct. 28 for a free live video webinar. David will show you how easy it is to set up and operate an automatic paper folding machine and answer any questions you may have.

To join, simply fill out the following form and we will reply with instructions about how to join us on Friday, Oct. 28.

Sign-Up Form: http://www.abcoffice.com/webinarForm2.htm

Folding paper by hand can be long and tedious, not to mention the loss of productivity and painful paper cuts! Automatic paper folders can save your office a significant amount of time and money.

Today’s advanced letter folding machines are simple to use and easy to operate. Paper folding machines can increase the number of letters you fold to anywhere from 4,000 to 115,000 sheets per hour.

Fill out the following form and we will reply with instructions about how to join us on Friday, Oct. 28.

Sign-Up Form: http://www.abcoffice.com/webinarForm2.htm

Why an automatic paper folding machine?

* Dramatically increase the number of sheets folded per hour
* Saves you time by allowing you to do other things
* Reduces physical and mental fatigue
* Saves money by increasing output and decreasing manpower
* Increase the types of letter folds you can create

Sign up today for one of two sessions …

Friday, Oct. 28
Session 1: 11:30 a.m.-12:00 p.m. MST
Session 2: 2:30 p.m.-3:00 p.m. MST

How to Use a Laminating Machine

Monday, October 24th, 2011

How to Use a Laminating MachineLaminating machines, in particular pouch laminators, are far easier to use that you might think. Many people get frustrated by all the dials and buttons. Don’t worry. You can have your laminator set up in less than 60 seconds with these easy-to-use instructions.

To start with, just keep in mind that a laminator is simply a glorified heater with a motor. All a laminator does is melt glue and apply pressure for sticking it to paper, photos, cards and other documents. I have spoken with people that went extremely retro and simply used an iron and a towel to laminate documents. While I don’t recommend the iron approach (although some people swear by it), it really is that easy.

Here are 5 easy steps to get you laminator up and running.

  • Step 1 – Plug in the machine and set the temperature. If there is no temperature dial, set the switch to the pouch thickness you are using. Common pouch thicknesses include 3, 5, 7 and 10 mils. The higher the number, the thicker the pouch.
  • Step 2 – Turn on the motor.
  • Step 3 – Insert your document into the pouch folder and then place it in a carrier folder.
  • Step 4 – Place your pouch into the machine and wait for it to run through.
  • Step 5 – Remove your document and repeat the process (if needed).

Sometimes seeing something in action is easier than following a step-by-step list of instructions. Here is a video demo of a pouch laminator:

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While there are minor differences between pouch laminators, they all pretty much operate in a similar manner. I have personally found that once you know how to use one, the rest are all pretty easy to figure out. At ABC Office we offer some of the best prices and selection on pouch laminators. You can find our entire selection of laminating machines here.

Best Way to Package Chocolates

Monday, October 24th, 2011

Chocolate Packaging Shrink Wrap MachineWhether you are making your own chocolates or need a way to package boxes of chocolates, you are probably going to need some sort of retail packaging. While there are several ways you can package chocolates, one of the most popular methods is by using shrink wrap. Which kind of shrink wrap machine is best for packaging chocolates and is there any risk of the chocolates melting? I will answer these questions and more in this article.

Having been in the packaging industry for over a decade know, I have seen people package everything from pizzas and baskets to soap and books. Another popular item is chocolates. This involves chocolates in a box or unboxed. There are a couple of different approaches you can take to shrink wrapping chocolate. These involve I-bar sealers and L-bar sealers. The machine you use depends on the volume you will be packaging. Here area  few benefits of both:

I-Bar Sealers – I-bar sealers (aka straight bar sealers) involve a single cutting bar. This bar is pulled down to cut film around an object, usually requiring 2 passes. These systems can be used with shrink bags, but are typically used with centerfold shrink film. Simply insert your chocolate bar or box, cut the film around the package and sealing the film using a heat gun. These machines are ideal for a few dozen to a few hundred packages a day.

Here is a video demo of an I-bar sealer in use:

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L-Bar Sealers – L-bar sealers use an L shaped sealing bar that completely seals chocolate in film in a single pass. These types of sealers can be used in conjunction with a heat gun or a heat tunnel. Many modern L-bar sealers incorporate a built-in heat tunnel that seals and shrinks the film in a single pass. These machines are ideal for a few hundred to a few thousand packages per day. Some of the higher-end machines can package tens of thousands a day.

Here is a video demo of an L-bar sealer in use:

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Which type of film should you use?
There are two primary types of shrink wrap film used in packaging. One is PVC and the other is Polyolefin. The only film that is safe for use with food is Polyolefin. This means if you are packaging chocolate, you should use Polyolefin film (aka Poly film). This is especially important if the film will be directly touching the chocolate.

Will the chocolates melt? Many people thing that since heat is used in the shrink wrap process that it will melt the chocolate. This is usually not the case. L-bar sealers, using an integrated or built-in heat tunnel will rarely if ever cause the chocolate to melt. The heat process takes just seconds and is too little time to do any damage.

I-bar sealers, which use a heat gun, do run a higher risk of melting the chocolate. While it rarely ever happens, chocolate can begin to melt if the heat gun is left on any one spot for too long. It is my observation that I-bar sealers (with heat gun) will only melt the chocolate if human error is involved. If the gun is left on any one spot for too long, it will usually damage the shrink wrap as well. Heat guns take just seconds to shrink film, so you really shouldn’t run into any issues, especially if the chocolates are in a box.

At ABC office we have sold hundreds of machines to people packaging chocolates and they always end up happy with the end results. If you do have questions, or have unique chocolate packaging needs, please feel free to speak with one of our packaging specialists at 1-800-658-8788. You can find our entire selection of shrink wrap machines here and shrink wrap film here.

Casino Money Counting Machines and Equipment

Thursday, October 20th, 2011

Cassino Money Handling and Counting MachinesIf you run, operate or work for a casino, you’re probably around a lot of money on a daily basis. As is the case in any business where money is handled continuously, proper tracking and counting are critical. The best way to keep track of money is by using a money counter, a coin counter or bill counter. These machines quickly and accurately count money.

Here are just a few pieces of equipment your casino may need:

Bill Counters / Money Counters – Bill counters take a stack of money and count it right down to the last bill. These counters are extremely accurate and will provide you with an exact number of bills counted. Most bill counters easily handle both new and used bills and can provide you with size detection, which will help catch counterfeit money. These counters generally have batch counting capabilities. Many of our bill counters include counterfeit money detection (UV – Ultraviolet / MG – Magnetic).

Our most popular brands of bill counters include Semacon, ABC, Cassida, Klopp and Magner. These bill counters are portable, can be used on most tables / desks and are available at an extremely affordable price. A few models you may want to consider include:

This is the Cassida Tiger in action:

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Cassino Coin Counters / Token SortersCoin Counters / Sorters – Coin counters are designed to take your pennies, nickels, dimes, quarters, dollar coins and even tokens a count / sort them. These machines are accurate and are far faster than manually counting. While you may thing a coin counter costs thousands of dollars, most of our coin counting and sorting machines are extremely affordable and cost less than $1,000. More than half of our coin counting machines can bag and tube coins for storage and banking purposes.

Popular brands of coin counters include Cassida, ABC, Klopp, Ribao, Magner and Semacon. Most of our coin counters are portable and most provide you with quantity and value totals. These are a few of our more popular coin counting machines:

This is a video demo of the ABC 110 coin counter in action:

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Counterfeit Detectors – Casinos are particularly vulnerable to counterfeit money, especially with the constant exchange of physical bills. For this reason, every casino should have a counterfeit detector. We offer counterfeit detectors that utilize one method of detection and others that incorporate multiple detection features. The most common methods of detecting counterfeit casino bills include:

  • UV (Ultraviolet) – All legitimate U.S. currency has a UV stripe in it that can be lit up and detected by a UV counterfeit detector.
  • MG (Magnetic) – Legitimate U.S. bills incorporate magnetic ink that can be picked up by a magnetic counterfeit detector.
  • WM (Watermark) – Most U.S. bills feature watermark technology that can be brought to light (excuse the pun) by being backlit. WM detectors make these features clear and obvious.
  • Micro Features – Some more manual counterfeit detectors include a magnifying glass that can be used to enhance and display microprint that is present in most U.S. bills.
  • Fiber Detection – This is one of the most basic forms of counterfeit detection. Detector pins use special ink that reacts with starch found in regular paper (not found in real U.S. tender).

These are some of our more popular counterfeit detectors:

This is a video demo of the ABC-75 in action:

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Cassino Card Canceling EquipmentCard Canceling Equipment – Most casinos handle face cards. Most reputable casinos will cancel out used decks of cards. Rather than throw these cards away, most casinos will cancel them using a paper punch or drill. Once cancelled, these cards can be re-sold, allowing casinos to make additional money on used cards.

This punch is extremely popular with casinos for canceling cards:

We also offer a great selection of single-spindle paper drills that will quickly cancel decks of cards. These are a few popular models:

Hopefully these money-handling machines will help your casino with its daily operations. These tips, ideas and machines will undoubtedly save your business money and time. You can find our entire selection of money handling equipment here.

Since we are experts with money handling equipment, coin sorters and counterfeit bill detectors, we are able to provide you with expert advice. Please don’t hesitate to call and speak with one of our experts at 1-800-658-8788. We can help you find the right machine for your job.

Book Binding Workstations, Desks and Tables – Organizational Bliss

Thursday, October 20th, 2011

Binding machines, whether it be comb, wire or coil, are wonderful to have, but they do pose a problem to many businesses. “What problem is that,” you might ask? Desk space. Many of us are strapped for desk space. Heaven knows my desk is stacked with magazines, papers, monitors and other stuff. The last thing I need on my desk is a binding machine. There is, however, a great piece of furniture that should help you out. It is commonly referred to as a binding workstation.

Binding workstations, often called binding desks or tables, are designed with the sole purpose of making binding more organized and saving space. Two of the most popular binding workstations we offer are the Akiles Utility Station and the Tamerica WS Workstation.

Akiles Binding Machine Utility StationAkiles Utility Station – The Akiles Utility Station is designed from the ground up to be portable, easy to use and is perfect for organization. The bench height is placed at an ideal height for using a comb, wire or coil binding machine. The bench is wide enough for most machines and can even be used to support electric punch machines. It has a combined supportive weight capacity of 550 pounds.

Below the bench are 3 shelves that can be used to hold boxes of supplies, binding covers or even paper. An additional top 2 shelves can be used to hold additional supplies. Everything is easy to access and organize. The four supportive casters make this cart easy to wheel around the office.

Tamerica Model WS Binding WorkstationTamerica WS Workstation – The Tamerica WS Workstation is smaller than the Akiles Utility Station and is perfect for limited office space. This workstation is at about desk height and can be wheeled up to a desk for easy book binding from the convenience of a chair. A total of 7 wire (transparent) drawers can be used to hold binding supplies of every diameter and color. These drawers are easy to pull out, easy to access and keep everything in one easy-to-find place.

The Tamerica WS is also easy to move around the office thanks to 4 locking casters. This binding station, unlike the above-mentioned Akiles model, only has a weight capacity of 50 pounds. That makes this station excellent for most manual binding machines and some electric binding machines.

We offer a great selection of other binding stations including other models from Akiles, Tamerica, Alvin and other manufactures. You can find our entire selection of book binding workstations here.

Formax FD 6304 Envelope Stuffing Machine Video Demo

Thursday, October 20th, 2011

Formax FD 6304 Envelope Stuffing MachineHave you ever wondered how bills, invoices, mailers and other material are folded and inserted into envelopes? Perhaps…perhaps not. Whether you need one of these machines, or are simply curious how it works, we now have a video demo available of the Formax FD 6304 folder inserter. This machine is capable of folding and inserting up to 40,000 envelopes per month.

Folding and inserting machine, sometime called envelope-stuffing machines, are completely automated. All you have to do is enter a few settings and place empty envelopes and paper in the feeding trays. The machine does the rest. It literally pulls a sheet from each tray and inserts them into an envelope. The FD 6304 can even lick (with a water applicator) and seal the envelopes shut.

The Formax FD 6304 can single fold and insert up to 10 sheets of paper at once or tri-fold (aka letter fold) and insert up to 8 sheets of paper at once. It operates at a speed of about 3,600 pieces per hour. This machine is perfect for small to large businesses and can even be set up with OMR capabilities (optical mark recognition) for billing and invoicing.

Many people think that a folding and inserting machine is going to be complicated to use or difficult to set up. Formax has put a lot of research into usability and has dramatically simplified the setup procedure. It only takes a few steps to set up a Formax folder inserter. The FD 6304 even has a full-color touchscreen that makes it easy to set up an program up to 25 different jobs.

Here is a video demo of the Formax FD 6304 in action:

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The FD 6304 is currently available in about 12 different configurations. Some include special feeders, have high capacity feeders, feature vertical stackers, include MailDock software and more. The machine you get really depends on what you need.

You can find the Formax FD 6304 here and our entire selection of folding and envelope inserting machines here. Please feel free to speak with one of our envelope / mailing specialists by calling 1-800-658-8788.

Energy Efficient / Eco Friendly “Green” Paper Shredders

Thursday, October 20th, 2011

Initmus EcoLogic Energy Efficient Paper ShredderWe are all much more energy conscious, whether it is for financial or environmental reasons. One of the best ways to cut down on energy costs is to use more efficient equipment. One item your office may not have thought about is energy efficient “green” paper shredders. We now offer several eco friendly paper shredders from some very reputable manufacturers.

While any paper shredder (short of a hand-crank shredder) uses electricity, many modern paper shredders have built-in features that are designed to save electricity. Here are a few of the technology systems used by modern paper shredder manufacturers.

Intimus EcoLogic – This system, designed by Intimus, uses up to 92% less power than your typical paper shredder. Part of what makes this system work so well is the time-responsive electronics. This puts the shredder to sleep after it becomes idle. While in sleep mode, power usage is dropped to zero. This is far superior to sleep modes on other machines as they still draw electricity. Simply touch the i-control to instantly restore the shredder to operational status. You can find our Intimus paper shredders here.

Kobra Energy Smart Green Paper ShreddersKobra ENERGY SMART Management System – This system, designed by Kobra (out of Italy), is found on most of Kobra’s shredders. These shredders use dedicated software to help manage energy consumption. A series of LEDs, versus incandescent bulbs, also help to cut down on energy consumption. These shredders go into zero-use mode when in standby mode, which uses no electricity. This system is designed to cut down on 65 kgs of CO2 (carbon dioxide) emissions per year. You can find our Kobra shredders here.

Dahle SmartPower Energy Management – Many Dahle paper shredders utlize CleanTEC. This SmartPower system helps to reduce power / energy consumption after just 10 minutes of sitting idle. After 20 minutes, these shredders have a 0% energy draw. These are some of the most energy efficient paper shredders on the market and are designed to cut down on electrical costs and conserve energy. You can find our Dahle paper shredders here.

MBM Destroyit ESM (Energey Saving Mode) system – Most Destroyit paper shredders (by MBM) utilize an ESM (Energey Saving Mode) energy management system. This system puts Destroyit paper shredders into ESM mode after 1 hour of inactivity. You can find our Destroyit paper shredders here.

These lines are currently the most energy efficient that we offer. We hope, and expect, other manufacturers to fall in line with energy saving, efficiency and eco-friendly paper shredders later down the road. Intimus, Dahle and Kobra have put the most effort into making their shredders more eco friendly and energy efficient.

You can find our entire selection of paper shredders here. Please feel free to call one of our customer service representatives at 1-800-658-8788 with any questions.

Why You May Want to Use Coil Binding

Friday, October 14th, 2011

Coil BindingAre you binding a cookbook, an instruction manual or perhaps even a photo album? One book binding format you should consider using is coil binding. Coil binding, often referred to as spiral binding, is the fastest growing binding format today. There are many reasons for this and I would like to cover all the pros and cons. I would also like to show you, with a video, how a coil binding machine works.

Coil binding is a format that uses tiny coils that look a lot like springs (found here). Other than the fact that coil binding coils are made from PVC plastic, they look almost identical to the spirals used in traditional spiral notebooks. PVC coils are available in different diameters, based on the thickness of the book you are binding, and come in a wide range of colors.

I personally think that coil binding looks very professional. I have personally used coil binding to bind instructional booklets and I have in my possession several cookbooks (family and neighborhood) that are bound in coil. Coil binding machines are affordable and can even be used at home. Popular brands include Akiles, Intelli-Bind and Tamerica.

Coil Binding MachinesI would like to now go over the pros:

  • Durability – Because coil-binding elements are made from PVC plastic, they are extremely durable. The hold up well with continued use, easily survive being dropped and can even be stepped on without suffering any damage. Durability alone is a huge reason to consider using coil binding.
  • Color – I have already mentioned this earlier, but coil binding comes in a variety of different colors. Popular colors include red, white, brown, green, blue, black and clear.  Custom colors are also available.
  • Page Turns – A book bound in coil is extremely easy to use. The round holds, combined with round-shaped elements, make page turns extremely easy. Pages can be wrapped around a full 360 degrees and pages lay extremely flat.
  • Speed – Binding a book with coil is extremely easy, especially if you have a machine that has an electric coil inserter. Simply punch the holes, insert the coils and crimp off the excess coil.

These are what I would consider to be the cons:

  • Modifications – You cannot add or remove pages to a coil bound document without cutting off the end of the coil and spinning the coil back out. The coil cannot be re-used. If you are removing or adding pages, a new coil would have to be used. On the bright side, this makes coil binding semi tamper proof.
  • Stability – Because coils are floppy and unstable, they don’t provide a lot of added stability to a book like comb or Velobind does. Your books stability is dependent entirely on the pages being bound. This isn’t a huge deal for most people.

Here is a video demo of a coil binding machine in use:

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In conclusion, coil binding is one of my favorite formats. It looks good, is functional and can be used for binding books as simple as a cookbook or as professional as a business proposal. You will find coil binding machines in schools, churches, homes and businesses.

You can find our entire selection of coil binding machines here. Please feel free to call us at 1-800-658-8788 with any questions.

GHL PP-981 LP / HP Pallet Wrapper Video Demo

Friday, October 14th, 2011

GHL PP981 LP / HP Pallet WrapperHave you ever wondered how large pallets stacked with products are packaged with that saran wrap plastic? That is done by using what’s known as a stretch wrapper. These machines use wide rolls of a material that is very similar to saran / stretch wrap that helps keep multiple items in place, on a pallet, while in shipping. One popular stretch wrapper is the PP-981 (LP and HP). I am including a video demo of this machine in use in this article.

While stretch wrapping can be applied to a pallet of goods manually, the process takes some time and isn’t ideal for high-volume shipping in a warehouse. It is also difficult for an inexperienced person to evenly and correctly manually apply stretch wrap. There is also always the element of human error.

Automatic stretch / pallet wrappers spin the pallet around while a stretch wrap dispenser moves up and down, evenly applying film. The PP-981 is designed to semi automatically apply film using a mechanical pre-stretch applicator. Pre-stretching the film allows the film to better hold things together.

The PP-981 is designed to work with pallets (and goods) measuring in up to 3,000 pounds and up to 85″ high. The turntable that spins the pallet around has a fixed speed. The turntable is powered by a chain drive, which is extremely durable and it sits on 14 sets of double roller supports. The turntable is 59″ in diameter and has a non-slip surface.

This is a video demo of the GHL PP-981:

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As you can see in this video, the entire process is very automated and very efficient. The PP-981 itself features a 10 program memory for custom stretch wrapping jobs. The PP-981 is available with a ramp (LP version) or without a ramp (HP version).

You can find the GHL PP-981 pallet wrapper here and our entire selection of pallet wrapping machines here.

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